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(ANS – Lo Cañas) – The mystical, the ascetical, the emblematic figures of Cardinal Silva Henríquez and Fr Egidio Viganò and the 50th anniversary of the Salesian Theologate in Lo Cañas, were some of the topics dealt with by Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati SDB of Santiago, Chile, in the Mass at which he presided on Tuesday 5 June on the occasion of the Provincial Assembly of the Salesians in Chile.
Accepting the invitation from his Salesian confreres, Archbishop Ezzati arrived at the Lo Cañas spirituality centre to preside at the Mass at the end of the first day of work at the Assembly.
In the first part of his homily, Archbishop Ezzati recalled the 50 years of the Salesian Theologate of Lo Cañas, started by Cardinal Raul Silva Henríquez, whose imprint he said was left not only on this house of formation, but also on the whole Church in Chile. “The role of Cardinal Silva Henríquez continues to be emblematic for the life of the Church... It is pleasing to hear so many expressions of gratitude for him and for the contribution he made to the Church.”
The Archbishop also recalled Fr Egidio Viganó saying that he had in his possession a photocopy of the resolutions the future Rector Major, seventh successor of Don Bosco, wrote on the day of his ordination as a priest: to have a great love for the Eucharist, to speak efficaciously and to allow the Lord to shape his temperament. “I keep it (the photocopy ed.) because, in addition to my affection for a Salesian so extraordinary and so significant for our Congregation, I think the three resolutions are still relevant for my priestly life and that of many confreres.”
With regard to the process of re-organisation taking place in the Province of Chile, Archbishop Ezzati referred to the expression “spiritual anaemia” that one comes across sometimes regarding religious life and which he takes to mean “a sign that we are losing something really vital, but, thanks to God, we are also being offered continually as a real possibility: mysticism, understood as that which moves us and motivates us towards the One who moves and motivates us - the person of Jesus Christ and his Gospel.” “Our life as consecrated persons only makes sense and can only make sense if it is nourished by this mystical dimension, without which ascesis is not possible, and it would not even be possible to carry out the mission, which also involves the ascetical dimension.”
He also said that for Consecrated Life a return to Jesus is fundamental: “We are not going to renew Consecrated Life simply with ascesis nor even with the mission on its own. Ascesis and the mission require a great effort and inner motivation which comes from the realisation that we have chosen and we have been chosen by Jesus Christ. With Him, centred on Him and through Him one can pursue a genuine mission which also makes it possible to practise the ascesis which our vocation presupposes lived with joy and a sense of fulfilment”.